FL Bill Aims At Loophole In Cigarette Tax Law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida roll-your-own cigarette businesses say state legislation would roll them out of existence.

The bill’s sponsor, though, told the House Finance and Tax Committee on Wednesday it would close a tax law loophole.

Rep. Mike Horner, a Kissimmee Republican, said the businesses began popping up three years ago after Florida increased its tax by $1 a pack.

Customers buy low-tax pipe tobacco and feed it into a machine that spits out 20 cigarettes a minute. The net cost is about half as much as factory-made cigarettes.

The bill (HB 615) would classify roll-your-own businesses as manufacturers so the state could collect cigarette tax.

The committee approved it but delayed the effective date for two years. A similar Senate (SB 1008) bill has yet to get a committee hearing.

Source: Associated Press